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Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)

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Hi, I'm Leonard Richardson. When I was growing up in the 1990s, my favorite computer game was a blocky little thing called ZZT. Lots of games had level editors, but ZZT came with its programming language, allowing you to script your own adventures and puzzles.

The kids who grew up playing ZZT are now artists, game designers, and programmers. But many of the worlds they created are gone. ZZT worlds were shared through BBSes and online services like CompuServe. When the Internet took over, those services shut down and the worlds were lost. It's estimated that only half the ZZT worlds ever created still survive.

In the early 2010s I realized that history was repeating itself. This time, the blocky game with the embedded programming language is Minecraft. Kids and teenagers are creating worlds, putting a lot of work into them, and sharing them on unreliable file-hosting sites. In the 2020s they'll be artists, game designers, and programmers. They'll get nostalgic, start thinking back on the game that showed them how fun it was to create their own worlds... and it'll all be gone.

The Minecraft Archive Project is my attempt to stop that from happening. Minecraft is much more popular than ZZT ever was, and I don't think I can save more than a fraction of one percent of its cultural history, but without this project pretty much all of it is doomed.

In the Collection

I periodically refresh the MAP by capturing new data from a couple different sites:

My focus is on packaged binaries (Minecraft maps, resource packs, and mods) but I also capture images (screenshots and skins).

How?

There's no secret, really. I just wrote a lot of Python scripts and let them run for a really long time. When one script finishes, I run the next one in the sequence. I go into some detail about my process in a 2015 blog post.

Where?

There are three copies of the Minecraft Archive Project. My personal copy is the master copy. I keep a backup copy at my workplace at NYPL Labs, and I periodically send copies to Jason Scott of the Internet Archive.

Making the archive publicly available is a tricky proposition. It's a really huge dataset, and most of it is still online... somewhere... if you know to look for it. I also don't have the time to do a proper presentation. At this point my only concern is making sure the dataset makes it to the future intact.

What I Didn't Capture

I could spend my whole life archiving this stuff, but... I don't want to. Once in a while—my plan is once a year—I run the basic Minecraft capture scripts on Planet Minecraft and the Minecraft forum. Everything else I get, I consider a bonus.

Whenever I discover or hear about some new dataset of ephemeral software, I put it on the following list and then forget about it. If you're inspired by what I've done with the Minecraft Archive Project and the Ephemeral Software Collection, a great way to show your appreciation would be to tackle one of these projects. Otherwise we'll see if these sites are still around when I retire.

If you happen to run one of these sites and would like to contribute a mirror to the MAP or ESC or the Internet Archive, and make sure your users' creations don't get lost, please send me email at leonardr@segfault.org.

Adding to the Minecraft Archive Project

The holy grail of the Minecraft Archive Project is a way to automatically archive active public Minecraft servers. There's no technical obstacle to doing this—walking around on a server streams the chunks to the client, and there are even mods for archiving the streamed chunks—but I've never gotten these mods to work, and getting it to work automatically, across hundreds of thousands of servers running different versions of Minecraft, requires work and resources far beyond what I can bring to the project. Thinking of applying for a digital preservation grant? Try this project out.

I would like to set up a dead-drop email address where people can send their zipped-up Minecraft worlds to explicitly put them in the MAP without publishing them anywhere else. This creates a lot of problems that I don't have time to deal with, so I haven't made any serious attempt at this.

Getting into the more achievable goals, there are more Minecraft maps at Minecraft Maps, MinecraftDL, 9Minecraft, etc. I don't even know if these sites have anything new or if it's all duplicates of things I already have. I haven't gone through them because adding a new site to the rotation is a lot of work, and these collections are very small compared to the Minecraft forum or Planet Minecraft.

Back in May 2014 I archived maps from Minecraft World Share and Minecraft World Map, but I haven't been back. It's a similar situation—they have a couple thousand maps but the collection is relatively small and doesn't grow quickly the way Planet Minecraft does.

The Technic Platform hosts thousands (not sure of the exact number) of Minecraft mod packs.


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Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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A collection of Minecraft files sourced from the efforts of the Archive of Minecraft Discord server community up until 2018/05/01. Invite Link: https://discord.gg/gSgVewx
Topic: Minecraft
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
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Two sets of user logs from the IRC channels for #minecraft and #tigirc from mid-2009, from the period of time when what would become Minecraft was a small number of folks working with a Java applet. The earliest of the logs date back to the day that Minecraft was created and provide assistance in seeing the in-the-process expansion and development of the game. Recovered from user hard disks one decade later.
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
by Leonard Richardson
software
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Collections of data from the Minecraft Archive Project. The full Minecraft Archive Project is mirrored elsewhere on the Internet Archive, including most of these files.
Minecraft Archive Project Minecraft Pocket Edition 2013
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
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Minecraft Worlds Sample - 2011-11
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project Minecraft Pocket Edition 2012
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project Minecraft Pocket Edition 2016
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
eye 53
favorite 0
comment 0
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 2009 2010
Minecraft Archive Project Minecraft Pocket Edition 2011 and Orphan Resources
Minecraft Archive Project Minecraft Pocket Edition 2015
Minecraft Archive Project Minecraft Pocket Edition 2014
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
eye 30
favorite 0
comment 0
Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201101
Minecraft Archive Project Minecraft World Share 2014
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project Skins 2009 2017
Minecraft Archive Project Resource Packs 2011
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
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favorite 0
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Minecraft Archive Project Mods 2011.zip
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project Worlds Orphan Resources 2009 2017
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project Mods 2010 and Orphan Resources.zip
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project Resource Packs 2010 and Orphan Resources
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
eye 14
favorite 0
comment 0
Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201102
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
eye 12
favorite 0
comment 0
Minecraft Archive Project Mods 2012.zip
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
eye 11
favorite 0
comment 0
Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201406
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
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favorite 0
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201202
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Mods 2013.zip
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
eye 9
favorite 0
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201401
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
software
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favorite 0
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201201
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201506
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201610
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201404
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Mirror of the contents of the Minecraft Archive Project, an effort by Leonard Richardson to maintain an archive of the worlds of Minecraft. Full information at http://map.crummy.com/ .
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201507
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201205
Minecraft Archive Project Modpacks 2014.zip
Minecraft Archive Project Resource Packs 2013.zip
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201402
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201301
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201107
Minecraft Archive Project Resource Packs 2016
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201106
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201103
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201508
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201104
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201209
Minecraft Archive Project (And Other Artifacts)
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Minecraft Archive Project Worlds 201112